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Spain, France and Portugal among countries with record heat

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A brutal burst of record-breaking heat swept across southern and central Europe, shattering May records from Portugal to Germany. Some of the most extreme heat is concentrated in Portugal, Spain and France.

The record temperatures are occurring at the same time as exceptional heat scorches the eastern United States. Simultaneous heat waves on two continents underscore the effects of human-induced climate change, which increases the frequency, intensity and duration of these events.

Record heat to the East Coast with temperatures approaching 100

Maximiliano Herrera, a climatologist who monitors weather extremes around the world, tweeted this Friday was a[h]historic day in Europe with dozens of monthly records [set].”

The hottest weather in Europe on Friday was concentrated in Portugal and Spain. In the south of Spain, the temperature has jumped up to 107 degrees (41.8 Celsius) on Friday and warmer weather was expected on Saturday. Seville soared to 105.4 degrees (40.8 Celsius) on Friday, matching its highest May temperature on record.

Spain’s National Meteorological Agency described the temperatures as “typical for summer and exceptionally high for these dates”.

Record temperatures have also grown in France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria and Germany, according to Herrera.

France recorded its 38th consecutive day of above-normal temperatures on Friday. Forecasters from Météo-France, the country’s meteorological service, predict that it will experience its hottest May on record, even hotter than some Julys in the 1950s and 1960s.

“The earliness of heat is exceptional,” said Robert Vautard, director of the Pierre-Simon Laplace Institute in Paris, in an email. “These temperatures are even high above normal for July or August.”

Meanwhile, much cooler air is pouring into northern Europe. The clash between excessive heat in southern Europe and cooler air from the north has triggered an outbreak of severe thunderstorms Friday in Germany. Social media posts showed a large destructive tornado hitting the town of Lippstadt in western Germany. the Associated Press reported heavy damage.

Dozens of records have fallen in southern Europe since the middle of the week. On Thursday, the city of Jaén in southern Spain hit a new monthly high of 101.7 degrees (38.7 degrees Celsius). Then on Friday, temperatures in the city soared even higher to 106.2 (41.2 Celsius) to eclipse its record set the day before.

Spain now knows up to 30 days longer which are over 86 degrees (30 Celsius) than 60 years ago, tweeted Mika Rantanenresearcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

Nighttime temperatures were also exceptionally warm. The city of Cuenca posted its hottest low temperature in May: 67.1 degrees (19.5 degrees Celsius).

Nighttime temperatures in Spain are expected to hover around or above 68 degrees (20 Celsius) into the weekend. High nighttime temperatures are of particular concern for vulnerable groups without air conditioning due to the physical accumulation of heat stress without adequate nighttime cooling.

High temperature records for the month of May have also accumulated in France. On Wednesday, monthly highs were set in the cities of Albi at 92.7 degrees (33.7 Celsius), Toulouse at 92.1 degrees (33.4 Celsius) and Montélimar at 92.8 degrees (33.8 Celsius). ).

On Friday, Strasbourg climbed to 94.3 (34.6 degrees Celsius) and was among many sites in France to set new records in May.

The heat in France, coupled with potentially record-breaking drought conditions, is straining the country’s wheat crop. As of May 16, 73% of soft wheat was in good or very good condition, which is lower than the same period last year. Low yields in France, the European Union’s largest grain producer, will add strain to global grain supplies, which have already been affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In Germany, many sites set May records on Friday, with widespread highs over 86 degrees (30 degrees Celsius) in the south.

The extreme heat was caused by a mass of hot, dry air from North Africa blowing over the region, accompanied by strong sunshine. Herrera tweeted Morocco recorded its highest ever May temperature on Friday, with a high of 114.3 degrees (45.7 degrees Celsius) in Sidi Slimane, a small town in the northwest of the country.

Excessively hot temperatures have been intensified by high concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels, Vautard said.

Extreme weather plaguing the planet will get worse due to global warming, says UN panel

“Several heatwave studies have shown that all recent heatwaves analyzed in Western Europe using our statistical and physical tools bear the signature of climate change,” said Vautard, who studies the role of climate change. climate change in extreme weather events. “There is no doubt that this heat wave escapes the general rule that it was fueled by climate change.”

Spain and France have warmed by around 3.2 degrees (1.8 Celsius) and 3.6 degrees (2.0 Celsius), respectively, since pre-industrial times, far more than the global average.

In Spain, most increases have also occurred in recent decades. In the past 60 years alone, the country has warmed by 1.3 Celsius, according to a executive report 2020 by the weather agency.

The agency’s data also shows that heat waves (high temperatures lasting at least three days) have doubled per decade. From 2010 to 2020, about 24 heat waves have been recorded compared to only 10 to 12 in previous decades. Summer also arrives about a month earlier than 40 years ago, Rubén del Campo with the National Meteorological Agency says AP News.

Vautard said the “likelihood of extreme heat waves around the world would roughly double” if the globe warmed by 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. The planet has already warmed by about 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit).

“The number of hot days will continue to increase in the future until global warming stabilizes, which would only happen if greenhouse gas emissions stopped,” he said. .

As cool air from Russia pushes southwest across Europe, central parts of the continent will see relief from the heat on Saturday and Sunday, as the heat nears its peak over the Iberian Peninsula and the South of France. It will be necessary to wait until the beginning of next week for the heat to calm down a bit in southwestern Europe.

Jason Samenow contributed to this report.

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